Whenever you go to a play and you get a goodie bag that includes a water pistol, one rubber glove, a few playing cards, a cold slice of toast, a party horn, a newspaper and a party cap, you should be in for a fun night.
Those props are all for audience participation in “The Rocky Horror Show,” which opened Oct. 4 and will run through Nov. 10. The Omaha Community Playhouse production is in the intimate Howard Drew Theatre. The artistic director is Kaitlyn McClincy. Musical director is Jennifer Novak Haar, who also conducts the orchestra of five talented musicians. She and her orchestra are high above the stage floor.
The cult-classic musical by Richard O’Brien opened in the U.S. in 1974 and ran for nine months. It was made into a movie starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon in 1975. The story takes place when innocent, newly engaged couple Brad and Janet take a drive on a very rainy night. Brad is played by Cale Albracht. He is great and very naïve. His fiancé Janet is Charlotte Hedican. They are perfect as the innocent couple who, after their car stalls on a rainy night, seek help at a mansion owned by a mad scientist named Dr. Frank N. Furter. He is a very tall transvestite played very well by Ben Sieff. There is another very tall character in the show named “Riff Raff.” He is great and is played by Kevin Buswell.
This is where the little goodie bag comes into play. Thanks to an informative theater marquee, it tells the audience what to say and do with the props in the bag. It tells the audience to squirt the actors with the water guns. It also tells them to call them nasty names.
“The Rocky Horror Show” starts out in an old movie theater. There are only two theater seats in the beginning of the musical. We have a narrator, an older usher played well by Rob Baker, who keeps us informed about what is going on in the show. He is really good and spends a great deal of time in the ticket booth of the theater. The show opens up with a pretty lady played by Erika Hall Sieff as an usherette. She sings and goes around handing out little white bags of popcorn. She sings “Science Fiction” with the help of the Transylvanians. Sieff later in the show plays another character, Magenta the maid.
Songs include “Damn it, Janet”, “Over at the Frankenstein Place” and of course “The Time Warp.” There are nine songs in the first act and nine songs in the second act. The entire show runs less that two hours.
“Time Warp” is the show stopper in the musical. It is a great number with some super dancing. The show’s choreographer is Courtney Cairncross. She has fantastic dance numbers in the show. The costumes are by Amanda Fehlner. They are very exciting and oh so colorful. The hair colors on the actors is amazing.
There are a total of 27 very talented actors, singers and dancers in the show. Rocky, Dr. Frank N. Furter’s creation, is a young blonde haired man wearing a very brief gold glittery bathing suit. He is played very well by Jason DeLong. The story gets complicated when Frank N. Furter gets Brad and Janet to get overly friendly with him. There are so many twists and turns in the very adult musical. We also have a scientist in a wheelchair played well by Jerry Van Horn. The show is so much fun and the audience has a big impact on the production.
The shows curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices range between $46 and $50 depending on day and performance. If you have never seen the movie or the play before, do not miss it at the Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Call the box office now to reserve you tickets. Box office hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The box office phone number is 402-553-0800.